Local woman hailed as model citizen after helping with hit-and-run incident

By By Johnathan Manning / American Press

A DeRidder man who was the victim of a hit-and-run said that if not for the help of a local woman, authorities would have

no one to look for.

Bill Smith said that after Sissy McClure witnessed an 18-wheeler run into he and his wife’s vehicle, McClure chased down the


Deputy Chief Mark Kraus, Lake Charles police spokesman, said the driver of the 18-wheeler is still being sought and the incident

remains under investigation.

He said witness statements are crucial to solving crime.

“A large portion of how we solve cases is community involvement,” Kraus said.

Smith said his ordeal began as he and his wife, Lynn, were sitting at a light at the corner of Nelson and Prien Lake roads

Wednesday when an 18-wheeler ran into their car and kept going.

The truck’s left rear wheels rolled over the front end of the Smith’s 2004 Chevy Impala, he said.

As the truck made its turn, a “helpless” feeling overcame Smith, he said.

“When he began his turn it was obvious to us he was going to run over us,” Smith said. “We had nowhere to go as we were blocked


But Smith was even more helpless as the truck got on the interstate and kept rolling.

Smith said he doesn’t know whether a driver of a big rig can feel whether the trailer impacts something else, but “I don’t

know how he could not know it.”

McClure, who was sitting in the vehicle next to the Smiths, rolled down her window and told them she was going after the truck.

“My heart just hurt for them because I thought it was wrong for him to do that,” McClure said.

She followed the truck onto the interstate, flagged the driver down and got him to pull over, she said.

She said after she told him what he had done, he denied it and refused to return to the scene of the accident.

So she took photos of his truck, and him, she said.

“I just don’t think it was right, so I

did a U-turn and chased him down and had him pull over,”she said. “It

was kind of scary after I thought about it.”

After police arrived and took statements from everyone, the Smiths continued with their shopping before heading to a local

restaurant. Sitting across from them was none other than the McClures.

“She was a model citizen,” Smith said. “She was determined to do what she did and it really helped us out.

“If it hadn’t been for her, I guess I’d be holding the bag.”

“I would do it again if I needed to,” McClure said. “They’re very nice people. I think God was watching out for them because

it could have been bad.”